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Malcolm Gladwell addresses racism and a short taxonomy of racial gaffs a la Richards, Gibson, Irvin et al.

By: Luke Gilman | Other Posts by
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New Yorker columnist and author Malcolm Gladwell weighs in on the recent outbursts of Michael Richards, Mel Gibson, and Michael Irvin on his blog in Defining a Racist. He brings up one of the most interesting aspects of Blink, empirical evidence that most of us are more racist than we think. He focused on a study conducted at Harvard using an Implicit Association Test.


Gladwell, who is of mixed race himself, was shocked to discover that the IAT test revealed his automatic preference for European American compared to African American associations. His conclusion was that many if not most of us are make negative associations with African Americans despite our belief in equality of all races, despite our strongest intentions and convictions on race, in Gladwell’s case, inspite of his own racial makeup. The IAT is substantial evidence that our racial attitudes are much more firmly ingrained than we realize.

Take a Demo Implicit Association Test on Race on the Implicit Association Test Website.

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Category: journalism


One Response

  1. [...] Furthermore, I’m forced to admit to myself that I may not have any real control over whether the narratives I tell myself really conform to reality. I’ve previously posted on Malcolm Gladwell’s interaction with Harvard’s Implicit Association Test on Race [...]

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